Question

Play 5 tinny sound when in, in-line source.

  • 23 June 2019
  • 8 replies
  • 120 views

I have connected my Sonos 5, to my CD player(source) headphone connector.. I had to use an adapter, for the 3.5mm jack. It works but the sound that comes out of my Sonos 5s is tinny and awful. Have I missed something, in setting it up, that’s led to this sound? When I switch to stream music, the sound is perfect.

8 replies

Hi. Does the CD player not hsve a proper audio out of any kind? Whst sort of CD player is it?
Userlevel 7
Badge +20
Headphone out is generally low voltage compared to a genuine Line level signal. You could try adjusting the 'Line-In Source Level' for the Play:5 to a higher value. In a mobile controller, go to:

Settings > Room Settings > [Play:5's Room] > Advanced Audio > Line-In > Line-In Source Level
I'd actually consider getting an RCA to headphone jack cable, and connect the RCA jacks to the back of the CD player (hmmmm. Assuming it has some, wasn't really thinking of a portable CD player), and connecting that to the line in.
Userlevel 5
Badge +13
Dumb comment, but has to be said - is the 1/8" plug seated all the way in the jack? I've had this happen many times, especially when the plug has a really large or strangely shaped boot that doesn't allow it to be plugged all the way in.

Model of CD player would help us with diagnosis, as well as pictures of the jacks and cables used.
I'd actually consider getting an RCA to headphone jack cable, and connect the RCA jacks to the back of the CD player (hmmmm. Assuming it has some, wasn't really thinking of a portable CD player), and connecting that to the line in.

Thanks Air, took your advise, got a RCA jack to back of CD player, sounds fine.
Thank you all for your help. Does anyone know, how to determine, the optimum Line in source level?
Thank you all for your help. Does anyone know, how to determine, the optimum Line in source level?
If I Play Music from the Sonos App streaming sources (eg. Spotify/Deezer etc.) to my Lounge Speakers I like to hear (and see) the audio at a comfortable level for me whilst in my chosen listening position in the room. When doing this, the Sonos Lounge volume slider bar is usually set somewhere around its 50% mark.

So when 'switching' and 'playing' a line-in source in the same room, I like that to be at the same volume with the volume slider bar, also set at the 50% level, or thereabouts ...and I have adjusted the line-in source level so that it means the volume slider is roughly in the same position.

For my personal circumstance, the line-in source level is set to level 8 to achieve that outcome, but this can obviously vary for others, depending on the type of device connected to the line-in

I'm not sure if that helps, but that’s how I set my chosen source level. So in summary, I simply look to balance the volume-level output with my other (streaming) audio sources.
I think it all depends on the sending device. The nice thing about the back of most of these devices, the "line level" input is not controlled, it's a constant level. But I don't know how to compare that easily to a headphone output, which is controlled by a volume knob. And it probably depends somewhat on the quality of that volume setting electronics.

If I were to do testing, I'd probably start the volume knob at somewhere near 50%, and see how it sounds. Anything lower than say 10% would be suspect, in my mind, due to potential interference caused by the volume knob itself. My personal experience is that the greatest amount of issues on any volume occur at the extremes, i.e. very low, or very high.

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